April 16, 2013

Ronnie Paul Threadgill was executed shortly after 6 pm CST, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Forty-year-old Ronnie was convicted of the murder of 17-year-old Dexter McDonald at the Pleasure Garden Club in Navarro County, Texas.  The murder occurred during the early morning hours of April 15, 2001, during a carjacking.  Shortly after the murder, Ronnie was caught.  He has spent the past 10 years on death row.

Ronnie was originally from Dallas, Texas.  He did not have an easy childhood.  He was abused as a child.  Additionally, his mother, various male relatives, and his three siblings all had criminal records and his mother encouraged criminal behavior in all the children.  Ronnie had a reputation throughout his community that he was a very bad guy.

 

 

Ronnie spent most of his adult life behind bars for various charges including, misdemeanor convictions for assault, resisting arrest, theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and possession of marijuana.  Ronnie also had felony conviction for possession of cocaine and burglary. At the time of the murder, Ronnie was out on mandatory supervision, which is a form of parole.  While in prison, Ronnie had been disciplined for threatening other inmates, gotten into fights with at least one other inmate, and was found to be wearing the wrong color jumpsuit, which could have facilitated an escape for Ronnie.  Ronnie had worked as a cook, barber, and laborer.

Dexter’s friend, Christopher Lane, had a birthday party on April 14, 2001, at the Pleasure Garden Club.  The party continued into the early hours of the following day, ending between 2:00 and 4:00 am on April 15, 2001.  Dexter planned to ride home with Christopher and another friend, Kevin Williams.  Dexter was intoxicated, and leaning against the window in the back seat while Kevin was in the passenger seat.  Christopher had started the car, but remained outside of the car talking to friends.

 

As reported by witnesses, a man in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, with a bandana over the lower part of his face, ran and jumped into the car.  Several shots were fired before he drove off.  Kevin had jumped from the car, before the carjacker took off.  Shortly after driving away, the car was stopped at a stop sign, where Dexter was thrown from the car.  Dexter had been shot in the chest and died later that day.

 

The police, who were called immediately, quickly found the vehicle and began chasing it.  The driver skid the car into a ditch before taking off on foot towards a Mobil gas station.  Threadgill was found hanging from an axel underneath a semi-truck.  A bandana was found stuffed under the frame of the trailer.  Police Officer Randy Owens positively identified Threadgill as the man who had run from the car.  Additionally, blood found on Threadgill’s shirt matched the blood of the victim and Threadgill’s fingerprints were found inside of the car.

 

Witnesses from the club, including Kevin, the man who escaped from the car, were unable to positively identify Threadgill as the carjacker and shooter, however they were able to identify him as the man they saw sitting outside of the club earlier that night in a white t-shirt and blue jeans.  Witnesses also collectively testified that the man who took the car was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

 

Ronnie attempted to argue that there was no evidence he was the person who stole the car and shot Dexter.  Ronnie alleges that the evidence only shows that he was at the club that night and that he obtained the car after it was stolen.  Ronnie also argued that the murder of Dexter was unintentional, because he was unaware Dexter was in the back seat.  Ronnie was found guilty on July 22, 2002.

 

Please pray for peace for the family of Dexter McDonald.  Please pray for strength for the family of Ronnie Threadgill.

 

 

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